API platform-as-a service provider Restlet and Hewlett Packard Enterprise today announced integration between HPE's Systinet API management software with the Restlet DHC Web-based testing tool for REST APIs.
According to the agreement between the companies, HPE Systinet users will be able to use DHC from within the Systinet graphical user interface to perform test calls against Web APIs, enabling them to easily test RESTful APIs. The integration enables API developers to test query parameters, test codes and security, among other things.
Jerome Louvel, CTO and founder of Restlet, said he believes testing is critical at each stage of an API project. Miroslav Malecha, senior product manager for Enterprise Maps and Systinet at HPE, noted that the partnership to integrate Systinet with DHC came about because HPE Systinet users need to be able to test and validate Web APIs
"DHC by Restlet provides essential technology to API managers and developers for validating the features of their APIs, and to API consumers for discovering the behavior of APIs they need to call in their applications," Louvel said in a statement.
The integration of DHC with Systinet also enables developers to log responses to API calls made to document the behavior of the API. Moreover, tests created with DHC can be saved for reuse. The tests also may be automated or included in broader functional test scenarios.
DHC provides API invocation and interaction so developers can validate APIs without writing a program or script, Louvel said. It also enables developers to create and run unit tests for APIs. And with plug-ins for Jenkins and Maven, the tests generated with DHC can be included in continuous integration and continuous delivery tool chains in DevOps scenarios for Agile development shops.
Restlet acquired DHC, also formerly known as Dev HTTP Client, last year to beef up its cloud platform for API design, development and deployment. Ironically, Filip Kolarik, founder of DHC, was previously an API evangelist and designer at Hewlett-Packard Software.
The Restlet team delivered a major upgrade of DHC, formally known as DHC by Restlet, in February. The upgrade fully integrated DHC with the other products that make up the Restlet Platform and provided additional capabilities for discovery, unit testing and functional testing of Web APIs.
"For mobile and Web-based applications to reliably connect to enterprise systems and become first-class citizens of the IT landscape, API testing needs to be brought up to the level expected in an enterprise software development processes," Louvel said. "Testing APIs needs to be easy and straightforward for developers, and it must be integrated into the general build and delivery process of applications."
DHC by Restlet is downloadable from the Chrome Web Store. A free plan is available for all users, and more advanced capabilities are offered in the Solo Plan, Team Plan and Scale Plan, starting at $9 per month.
"APIs are essential in helping businesses create value for their customers and partners by making their products, services and data accessible in the cloud," Mark Boyd, founder of API-focused market analyst firm Platformable, said in a statement. "APIs are a key value creator across all industries, and businesses will increasingly find that poorly designed APIs create costly errors and alienate customers and users.
Restlet's DHC integration with Systinet comes on the heels of the company delivering an update of the Restlet Studio last week. Restlet Studio enables teams to collaborate on visual API design. The latest version of Restlet Studio helps developers create APIs without needing to be a REST expert, and without mastering the syntax of API description languages, such as Swagger or RAML. Through its browser UI, Restlet Studio defines the contract of the API, including endpoints, resources with their methods and representations with their properties.
Restlet Studio is "an IDE [integrated development environment] for API design," Louvel told eWEEK. "Think of Eclipse for API design. As APIs are networked, there's a visual element to help understand the connection points."
Restlet Studio also creates client SDKs for major programming environments, including iOS, Android, AngularJS, Java, Node.js and more.
As API teams are building more and more APIs, they have to rethink their development processes and move from code-first and API provider-driven workflows to contract-first and API consumer-driven workflows, Louvel said.
Usually, developers start writing code first, like for the functionality of streaming video from a server, he said. In an API-first design, the developer thinks of how devices will connect to the server first.
"For example, if you're Netflix and have hundreds of different devices connecting to a server, then it makes sense to plan how devices connect to the server first, then start coding," Louvel said. "The API contract is the stuff that includes the API interfaces and other stuff like methods. Basically, the change is that people are thinking about how devices connect to the API first, plan it out, then start coding."